Melbourne woman Olivia went from being fairly “naïve” as a drug taker to smoking ice as regularly as drinking a coffee.
Olivia’s story and the experiences of many other Australia ice users were presented in the latest instalment of ABC’s unflinching documentary series, ‘You Can’t Ask That’.
Each interviewee from across the country described the literal highs and lows of developing an ice addiction and explained the drug’s impact on their lives.
Olivia first tried smoking ice after seeing her friends pass around a pipe. “They seemed to be having fun,” she recounts.
She describes the drug as a “happy band aid” and said her habit came to replace other forms of self-harm.
“I was broken for a lack of a better word. I suppose I switched – I stopped harming and I took the drugs up,” she said.
“Before I knew it, it was like replacing coffee, I suppose you could say. You’d wake up in the morning and have a pipe, and you’d have a pipe through the day, and you’d have a pipe at dinner, and definitely a pipe before bed. It was a bit of a joke—just coffee for us."
In Australia, the use of ice among meth/amphetamine users has more than doubled, soaring from 22% to 50% between 2010-2013. Smoking ice is considered more addictive than most other forms of drug use.
Olivia said she her memory was “pretty screwed” as a result of her addiction and she experienced dramatic weight loss as a result of not eating.
“You could see all my bones, it wasn’t pretty,” she admits.
For Olivia, sex while on ice was a euphoric experience.
“Every single endorphin is electrified, it’s just out of this world amazing. And like your orgasms are just ...,” she said.
But the comedown off the drug was devastating.
"You try to outrun the comedown, you didn’t want to have the comedown, so you’d just keep smoking ice,” she recalls.
“You don’t think you can survive without it once you get that hooked I suppose you could say.”
Now recovering, Olivia confirmed she would never be tempted to take ice again. “No way.”
You can watch the entire episode here: abc.net.au/tv/programs/you-cant-ask-that/